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Reed raises $1.7 million for race against nobody

10:48 PM, Jan 9, 2013   |    comments
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Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed

ATLANTA, Ga. -- The hip-hop artist known as Ludacris gave him $2500 last month, and his entertainment company added another $2500. Clifford Harris, better known as TI, gave him $2000 in December. Atlanta movie mogul Tyler Perry gave $2500.

The contributions were reported in a campaign disclosure filed late Tuesday.  And they represented mere drops in a sizable fundraising bucket that bankrolls the re-election campaign of Mayor Kasim Reed.

Disclosure reports show that since the middle of 2010, Reed has raised more than $1.7 million. $1.2 million is sitting in his campaign's bank account now.

Reed says his fundraising is, in part, supposed to send a message.

"What I'm focused on is letting everybody know that I don't want any other job but the job that I have, and I aim to keep it," Reed told 11 Alive News in an interview in his office at City Hall.

His fundraising has undoubtedly deterred potential opponents. Reed says his record also has. He says the city has hired 700 police officers, lowered crime, and balanced budgets.  Reed has also tackled the costly issue of city pensions, while increasing the city's reserve fund.

"So I think in terms of the commitment I made to folks (in 2009), I tried to honor it. And I haven't raised property taxes," Reed said.

Reed's 2009 opponent, Mary Norwood, told 11Alive News Tuesday that she hasn't ruled out a rematch in 2013.  Norwood was well-funded in 2009, but hasn't raised any money for a campaign in 2013.

RELATED:  Reed raises money, deters 2013 challengers

Reed says his absence of an opponent is irrelevant to his job as a candidate seeking re-election.  "So whether somebody runs or doesn't run, I'm going to wake up every single day not taking anything for granted, because I'm going to do what it necessary to be re-elected mayor of the city," Reed said. 

Reed has used his campaign fund to pay for some travel, including last year's visit to the Democratic convention in Charlotte. He's made charitable contributions, like to the Atlanta Business League. He's also made contributions to other political candidates, including members of the Atlanta city council.

But he hasn't spent a dime yet on a competitive campaign. And if nobody steps up to face him, he may not.

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